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First flight departs Denver International Airport following 'bomb cyclone'

Flights are not expected to restart in earnest Thursday until noon after a "bomb cyclone" tore through Colorado Wednesday afternoon. The first flight went up at 8:20 a.m.

DENVER — Four of six runways at Denver International Aiport were back open as of early Thursday morning following the "bomb cyclone" that brought with it wind gusts up to 80 mph near the airport, blowing snow, and a full closure of Pena Boulevard on Wednesday.

The first official flight to take off from DIA on Thursday was at 8:20 a.m., per airport officials. Frontier Airlines Flight 64 departed for Cleveland and the bulk of commercial flights will resume around noon Thursday.

So far, 662 flights in and out of Denver have been canceled for Thursday, according to the airport. In a release just after midnight Thursday morning, Denver International Airport, said it anticipated that most airlines would resume normal operations around noon. 

Peña Boulevard is clear but remains snow packed and icy.  On Wednesday it was closed due to adverse conditions and more than 50 disabled vehicles were removed from the road.

Nearly 1,400 flights were canceled on Wednesday including all United, Frontier and Southwest flights that were scheduled to depart that afternoon. The airport closed all six runways at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday due to extremely low visibility on the airfield.

As of midnight Thursday morning four of them had reopened and the airport said crews would work throughout the night to get the remaining two open.

Credit: KUSA

Ahead of Wednesday's storm, here is what DIA said it had available.

  • DEN has more than 250 pieces of airside-snow-removal equipment (used for runways, taxiways, and ramp areas), and 120 pieces of equipment for landside parking lots and roadways, and more than 500 trained snow-removal personnel
  • The equipment utilized for winter weather includes blowers, brooms, blades, plows, runway sanders, 5,000-gallon chemical trucks, loaders with box plows and multi-function equipment
  • The airlines are expected to be in full-deicing operations for the duration of the snow. Passengers should expect to spend a little extra time on the aircraft prior to departure. The average deicing time is approximately 16 minutes but can vary based on the type of aircraft

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